I received an opportunity to road test a couple of hours of tutoring for my kids and I thought this sounds like a great idea. I thought we could see how this online platform works, it would certainly be a new experience. I once got some much needed Maths tutoring when I was studying for my Higher School Certificate and some things were certainly made clearer.
I sought the opinion of my kids, because I thought it was best as they were the ones who were going to be experiencing this.
My daughter chose creative writing. The reason for this is due to the fact that she started (and finished) primary school in Italy. Due to the age differences, she has had to re-do the final year of primary school again here in England, which I don’t really mind, particularly as I hope it assists her written English. Her spoken English is fine. After all it has been the predominant language in our household since she was born. Her written English is another thing. It is very evident in some of her expressions that she has been thinking in Italian and then translating it into English. She has received some positive feedback from her class teacher about how far she has come since she first started year 6. I thought if this proved to be a positive exercise it would give her even more encouragement.
First you need to create an account on the Tutor Crowd’s website. This is a very easy process. Then you can go and find a tutor for your chosen subject. I had a couple of tutors suggested to me by staff from the Tutor Crowd which I didn’t mind. Each tutor has a profile set out where you can see which subjects they teach and how many lessons they have taught. Some of the teachers have had reviews written by past students which is also helpful. You can also see when the tutors are available. The prices of the lessons are set out very clearly as well.
I was very impressed that the tutor we chose for creative writing got in touch beforehand via email to see if there was something we were interested in covering. I said there wasn’t a specific task, but I did mention my daughter’s language confusion expression issue. During her trial hour she had to create a character and make it believable. The tutor uploaded a document that we could also access as the website uses Adobe Connect which means that you can connect your webcam and audio and all of those involved in the conference can see what is going on. Both parties involved could alter the document. I think the most important fact to note here is that my daughter found the exercise useful. The tutor also emailed the work that my daughter worked on, about 5 minutes after her lesson had finished, which I thought was fantastic.
My son decided on Spanish. He is a bilingual speaker of English/ Italian and I think this greatly assists him with his Spanish. However, he decided that he wanted a bit of extra help with Spanish. His tutor had some good ideas as well. One of which I had heard before. I may end up learning a few Spanish words myself, if he takes his tutor’s advice and decorates our house with post-it notes naming furniture and other household objects. Again Adobe Connect proved a useful tool, particularly with the use of a mind map. He also did some oral practice too.
All in all, I think it is a useful platform. I never would have thought to try to find an online tutor, but it does make sense.
Would you consider using an online tutoring service for your children?
Note this is my honest unbiased opinion based on two free 1 hour trial lessons.